Houston/Henry County IDA works to improve mainline railroad

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — The opening of Abbeville Fiber is expected to take place next month in Henry County.

However, some of the infrastructure of the railways that will be used for transportation has to be updated.

Officials expect the railway project to cost $1.2 million. The state will be giving $850,000 to the project while the local match of $350,000 will be handled through the Houston/Henry County Industrial Development Authority.

“It’s a big deal to make this project happen, and again, it’s significant,” said Matt Parker, Dothan Chamber of Commerce president. “A lot of local wood products will be purchased here, be manufactured at the facility and utilize that great pine base that we have here in the Wiregrass.”

Chips from Abbeville Fiber will be going out to other companies throughout the region, while finished portions go out to east coast markets, with the possibility of having to use the railway.

“Rail transportation is so cost-effective,” Parker said. “It’s so important to have that for an operation of this size. It’s a big deal that helps the whole area out so we’re very excited about it.”

During Monday’s Houston County Commission meeting, Henry County Probate Judge David Money came to thank the commissioners with their help through the Houston/Henry County industrial development authority partnership.

“They’ve been so ready to step in, help us, guide us, not only financially but with some of the legal work, the paperwork that’s involved,” Money said. “So, it’s been a great ride and we hope to see it continue to bring even better things.”

Money said he thinks this is just the beginning of many other developments as a result, which is a great thing for Henry County.

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